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Author Topic: Help me fix an old key  (Read 3641 times)
KF7IPW
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Posts: 47




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« on: October 04, 2011, 09:28:10 PM »

I have a key that is missing some of the ball bearings.
I acquired the key a while ago and am just getting ready to use it.
They appear to be about 1/16".
I'm sure all you very smart people will know where I can get a couple more.

Thanks for you help.

Stan
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KF7IPW
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Posts: 47




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« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2011, 09:30:55 PM »

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y61/Nephidoc/Morse%20key%20balls/CIMG0821.jpg

This is it.
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K8AXW
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Posts: 4004




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« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2011, 09:48:04 AM »

This is a joke, right?
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KF7IPW
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Posts: 47




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« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2011, 01:27:59 PM »

Sure.....

I take it you don't find it "worthy" of fixing?


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KA5N
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Posts: 4380




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« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2011, 03:33:44 PM »

Well you can buy all sizes of ball bearings at a Bearing Supply house.  Since you are in Utah
you would have to go to a pretty large town (like Salt Lake City)to find a bearing supply.
Or mail order from McMaster Carr or other supplier (do a search on line).  You can also buy ball bearings with the races included.  From the picture I can't tell a lot about how the knurled races you have attach to the posts.  Looks in pretty rough shape.
Have fun (cute daughter)
73
Allen
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KF7IPW
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« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2011, 06:32:27 PM »

OK  OK

"Dude that POS is not worth the time or effort" would have sufficed.

I just thought it was probably an older design that had easy to get parts.
Or something that other people might know how to fix.
I'll stick to doing sacrospinous colpopexies and buy a new key.

Jees... tough crowd.  LOL

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K3STX
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Posts: 1081




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« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2011, 06:43:51 PM »

I don't even understand what it is I am looking at. What kind of key is that? I don't use straight keys; what are the ball bearings even used for?

It is ironic that people give you shit on a CW forum when you ask a CW question. I'm with you; what a bunch of jerks.

paul
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KA5N
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Posts: 4380




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« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2011, 07:23:35 PM »

I gave you good answers as to where to buy ball bearings.
I have a straight key that has ball bearings in it and the ends of the key frame ride in the
ball bearings and the ball bearings are held in place by the race (the circular cup where the
bearings are).
Just because you get a couple of dumb answers is no reason to have a fit. 
Some people would rather repair something than to buy a new something.

Allen
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VA7CPC
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Posts: 2414




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« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2011, 08:09:51 PM »

I don't even understand what it is I am looking at. What kind of key is that? I don't use straight keys; what are the ball bearings even used for?


FWIW --

It's a "Japanese Speed Key", sold under many different brand names, over a long period.   The most modern incarnation is as the Ameco K-4 -- adjustment instructions are here:

http://www.mtechnologies.com/ameco/k4adj.pdf

It's a "low-end" key -- you can price it online. 

However, as a ham, you have a sacred obligation to return yours to working order. 

The "bearing cups" are the two parts (left and right) that screw into the frame.  They're probably OK. If you can find somebody with a micrometer, measure the diameter of one ball, and see if you can find one in a bike shop or bearing store.  I'm sure there are online sources -- the problem is finding somebody who'll sell you 6 balls, rather than 200 balls.

The reviews of the key on this site are here:

http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/3383

Any key that doesn't have high drag, or a wobbly lever, will work OK.  Yours is good enough for starters, and may be good enough for your lifetime.  That depends on how much money you want to spend, and how much "quality" (however you define that) you think you need.

           Charles

PS -- I may have one hanging around.  If I can find it, and a micrometer,  I'll take it apart and post the bearing diameter.  Probably next week.
 
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K3STX
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Posts: 1081




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« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2011, 08:19:45 PM »

PS -- I may have one hanging around.

Of all the jerks who may join this thread, VA7CPC is not one of them!! What a nice guy.

pps I have never heard of ball bearings in a CW key. Just shows my ignorance. My idea of a straight key is the one (and only) I bought from Radio Shack in 1977 for 79 cents.

paul
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KF7IPW
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Posts: 47




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« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2011, 08:52:50 PM »

Allen I should have said THANKS!!! for the info.  Sorry about my lapse in politeness.
I will try and find them when I'm in the "Big City"

Charles thanks for the help also.
It just seems a shame to throw this away.

I didn't take offense to any of the other posts... I give and take a good ribbing with no problem.
Sorry if my posts came off as pissy.  I appreciate all the help!

Stan
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K8AXW
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Posts: 4004




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« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2011, 09:47:24 PM »

OK.... please let me explain my smartass answer.

The photo of the key looks like a trashed J-38 hand key or a variation of the same.  I've used one for over 50 years.

The left side thumb screw is missing.... the right side thumb screw is in backwards and I see no place for the large bearing race shown in the photo.  Let alone two of them.

I have never seen a hand key with bearings like those shown..... but really that doesn't mean anything, does it?

Perhaps you can explain just where these bearings go??  What the hell.... just because I'm over 75 years old doesn't mean that I can't learn something, does it?

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KF7IPW
Member

Posts: 47




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« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2011, 10:07:52 PM »

Allen (K8AWX) I should have explained I pulled it apart to show the ball bearings I was looking for.
No offense taken on my part.
I like trying to fix things... It's a personality defect of mine.
I'm trying to fix that too.

Stan
« Last Edit: October 05, 2011, 10:09:41 PM by KF7IPW » Logged
K8AXW
Member

Posts: 4004




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« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2011, 08:53:35 AM »

Stan:  Glad you "took no offense."  I understood that the key was disassembled.  No question there.

However, you didn't explain where these ball bearings go.  That I would like to know.

As for your "personality defect," please don't attempt to "fix" that.  I'm the same way and I find fixing things more fun than any other facet of ham radio.  Matter of fact I get the snakes every time I have to throw something "good" in the trash!

could you go into more detail on how the key is assembled or show a photo of it assembled?
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PA0WV
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Posts: 141




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« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2011, 01:41:16 PM »


Stan, I have just such a key. I bought it new very long ago, may be more than 50 years and I remember it was even at that time very cheap, less than  a dollar or so. It was known as "speed key"  I remember.

It has trunnion screws, and the head op those are  wide, drilled out,  and contain the balls 6 or so. So it will not be possible to replace a ball bearing, because it is a special part. Normally a ball bearing has an inner and an outer ring. Here is outer ring is the trunnionscrew head and there is no inner ring.

The key has no brand imprinted, the adjustment of the trunnion demonstrates that it has no sense to have ball bearings, it is not possible to get rid of sideway movement of the moving part of the key, the spring is (too) stiff , the thread of the adjustment screws is just standard thread, when you loosen the contra nuts, the play in the thread is too much, hence not easy to adjust, the resistance closed is about 2 ohms, the return path of the current is via the ball bearings, it is just a key of little if any value. The connection poles, never adjusted by me the first owner,  one of them has the hole for the wire in the wrong direction; the handswitch is designed very sloppy, and I measured 5 ohm when it is closed.

 

Regular I use  a Junker as straight key, that is very well designed and learns you what a ridiculously high paid polished gold plated "handcrafted" rubbish is on the market. Just for show not for use.

73 Wim
« Last Edit: October 21, 2011, 01:49:51 PM by PA0WV » Logged

Using an appliance without CW is just CB
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